Evergreen Students Meet with Major General, Health Secretary
Twenty-nine leadership students at Evergreen Middle School recently met with two top officials in Washington State government. Major General Timothy Lowenberg, The Adjutant General of Washington and Commander of the Washington National Guard and Washington State Secretary of Health Mary Selecky held an open conversation with the Central Valley students as part of Governor Gregoire’s “Priorities of Government” initiative to gather statewide public input on October 30.
Major General Lowenberg and Secretary Selecky emphasized the importance of leadership to the group of 13 and 14-year-olds. The pair urged students to read, show curiosity, develop good math skills and learn to work well with other people in order to succeed as leaders.
“You’re changing the adult world and it is powerful,” Major General Lowenberg told the students, referring to the influence of today’s youth in society. “Leadership is not always easy, but it’s doing the right thing.”
Tobacco prevention was one of several public health topics Secretary Selecky discussed with the students. She told them that in Washington State, 8,000 people die annually from smoking-related causes. Selecky asked students to recall the anti-tobacco ads they’d seen and talked about the development of the state’s edgy teen-focused anti-tobacco campaign – a $10 million annual effort to counter more than $184 million spent each year by “Big Tobacco.”: Students asked questions about current health topics including drug-resistant staph infection, school lunches and childhood obesity.
Lowenberg and Selecky also talked to the students about their stepped up emergency preparedness efforts since September 11, 2001. They now work together closely to ensure Washington State is prepared. When asked by the students whether schools in Washington are prepared for emergencies, Secretary Selecky responded, “more so than ever.”
When prompted for their input, the students presented a wide range of topics for Selecky to share with Governor Gregoire, including asking for her opinion on a military draft, what can be done about global warming and how to create unity in government.
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